Terms of Doing Ath-Thahaarah

Shariah Studies: Terms of Doing Ath-Thahaarah ~ Hi all readers! In the previous article I explained about the types of ath-Thahaarah. In this article I will explain about the requirements for doing ath-Thahaarah. All Muslims, be they women or men, must know about it, because there are some services that require someone to be in a holy state.

In Islamic teachings, there are ten terms of doing ath-Thahaarah;

First; the person must be Muslim.

I think the explanation of this first point is very clear. The first and ultimate requirement that a person is obliged to be holy is that he must be Muslim, so he has an obligation to perform some religious rituals in a pure condition. But there are Islamic scholars who say that the main condition is the arrival of Islamic teachings. The point is, if the person has heard or knew that there is an Islamic religion that invites all human beings to be followers, but he is not reluctant to be his followers, he remains non-Muslim, he is still obliged to doing purify.


The Definition of an-Najaasah (Unclean); A Best Explanation

Ath-Thaharah (Ablution or Purifying) in Islam

Second; intelligent.

Given the requirement of a person to be intelligent it tells us that the madman and the unconscious are not obliged to be holy unless the madman has healed and the unconscious person is conscious of his unconscious while there is still time to perform an obligation, such as prayer. But this sacred obligation does not go away if someone is drunk. In other words, drunk people are still required to doing purify.

Third; baligh.

The meaning of baligh here is the age limit of a person obliged to carry out obligations in Islam. to know someone already adult (baligh) age or can not go through five things; he has dreamed of having sex, growing feathers in the vital tool, menstrual discharge (for women), pregnant (for women), certain age limits.

There is a difference of opinion about a person’s age limit in adult (baligh). Some say; fifteen years. Some say; seventeen years. Imam Abu Hanifa says; eighteen years. Thus, it is not obligatory for a child to be holy, but he (the child) is ordered to be holy (and perform other duties) at the age of seven. At the age of seven years a child is only ordered (recommended) to perform religious duties in order for him to get used to it. If at that age he does not want to obey, then his parents should not nail. His parents are allowed to hit if the child does not want to perform obligations at the age of ten.

The Prophet Muhammad said;

مُرُّوْا أَوْلَادَكُمْ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَهُمْ أَبْنَاءُ سَبْعِ سِنِيْنَ وَاضْرِبُوْاهُمْ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ أَبْنَاءُ عَشَرَ وَفَرِّقُوْا بَيْنَهُمْ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ

Instruct your children to pray when they are seven years old, and beat them for not praying when they are ten, and separate their beds (male and female). [The hadith is narrated by al-Bazzar, al-Musnad, 9823, and Abu Daud, as-Sunan, 494-495.].

Fourth; cessation of menstrual and puerperal (nifas) blood.

Menstruation and childbirth are the natural natures of women. All women will experience periods of menstruation and puerperium in their respective time. I think we all know about it. But to simply refresh the memories, what is meant by menstrual blood is the menstrual blood that comes out of the woman’s vagina every month. While the puerperal blood is the blood that comes out of the woman’s vagina after giving birth. A Muslim woman is not required to be holy when in those two periods. Remember; not required. But if she wants to do holiness (like doing wudlu) is allowed; the law only allowed.

Fifth; in time.

What is meant by “in time” is when the time has come to perform an obligation, such as prayer (doing salat). In other words, doing purify (doing ahth-Thaarah) is obligatory because of the time to perform such a duty. If it is not yet time to do an obligation, one is only encouraged to do purify.

Sixth; not in sleeping condition.

Sleep is a condition where a person’s consciousness disappears. In this condition one is not obliged to be holy because he is not obliged to perform any obligation in Islam. the prophet Muhammad said;

رُفِعَ الْقَلَمُ عَنْ ثَلَاثٍ : عَنِ النَّائِمِ حَتَّى يَسْتَيْقِظَ , وَ عَنِ الصَّبِيِّ حَتَّى يَشُبَّ , وَعَنِ الْمُعْتَوَهِ حَتَّى يَعْقِلَ

The pen is lifted from three classes; the man who sleeps until he flies, the child until he grows up, and the madman until he is conscious (intelligent). [The hadith is narrated by at-Tirmidzi, 1423. There are other hadiths of different editors but the same means are narrated by an-Nasa’i, as-Sunan, 3432, Ibnu Majah, as-Sunan, 2041, ad-Darimi, as-Sunan, 2296, and Ibnu Khuzaimah, Shahiih, 3048.].

Seventh; not in a forgot condition.

Forget there is a condition in which a person is eliminating something from his memory. Sometimes forgetting to be a pleasure, but sometimes also a disaster. Well, when someone is in a state of forgetfulness, then he is not obliged to perform an obligation in Islam. Because he is not obligated to perform such an obligation he is not obligated to doing purify (doing ath-Thahaarah). The Prophet Muhammad said;

إِنَّ اللهَ تَجَاوَزَ عَنْ أُمَّتِيْ الْخَطَأَ وَالنِّسْيَانَ وَمَا اُسْتُكْرِهُوْا عَلَيْهِ

Verily Allah has forgiven the mistakes of my people because forgetting and because being forced to do it. [The hadith is narrated by Ibnu ‘Addi, al-Kaamil, 6/162, ath-Thabrani, Mu’jam al-Ausath, 8/161, 8275, Ibnu Majah, as-Sunan, 2045, al-‘Uqaili, adl-Dlu’afaa’, 4/1292, al-Baihaqi, as-Sunan al-Kubraa,  as-Sakhawi, al-Maqaashid, 239, Ibnu Katsir, Tuafatu ath-Thaalib, 158]. 

Eighth; not forced.

People who sleep, forget, and sick must replace the obligations they have left behind when they are there.

Ninth; the presence of pure water or dust.

The presence of holy water or dust becomes an absolute requirement because both are tools for cleansing. There is a difference of opinion if one does not find one of the two. Some say he is still obliged to perform the prayers and repeat them again when he has found one of the two wash tools. Some say; he is still obliged to perform the prayers and is not obliged to repeat them again when he finds one of the two sacred tools. Some say; he had no obligation to perform the prayers and was obliged to perform the prayers when he had found one of the two sacred tools.

Tenth; able to do it.

The ability to perform this obligation is an absolute requirement. Allah Ta’ala does not burden a servant beyond the ability of the servant. Allah Ta’ala said;

لَا يُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتۡ وَعَلَيۡهَا مَا ٱكۡتَسَبَتۡۗ رَبَّنَا لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوۡ أَخۡطَأۡنَاۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡنَآ إِصۡرٗا كَمَا حَمَلۡتَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِنَاۚ رَبَّنَا وَلَا تُحَمِّلۡنَا مَا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِۦۖ وَٱعۡفُ عَنَّا وَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَٱرۡحَمۡنَآۚ أَنتَ مَوۡلَىٰنَا فَٱنصُرۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ ٢٨٦

Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability; for it is (the benefit of) what it has earned and upon it (the evil of) what it has wrought: Our Lord! do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake; Our Lord! do not lay on us a burden as Thou didst lay on those before us, Our Lord do not impose upon us that which we have not the strength to bear; and pardon us and grant us protection and have mercy on us, Thou art our Patron, so help us against the unbelieving people. (Al-Baqarah [2]; 286).

I think that is enough for this article about terms of doing ath-Thahaarah. May be useful! Amen!

See you again in the next article!


We can find the discussion above in, Ibnu Jazi al-Maliki, al-Qawaaniin al-Fiqhiyyah, p. 19 etc. and, Wahbah bin Mushthafah az-Zuhaili, al-Fiqh al-Islaami wa Adillatuhu, vol. 1, p. 90-92.


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